IILM Greater Noida organises 7th International PRME Conference Innovations for Sustainable Business

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Institute of Integrated Learning in Management (IILM) Greater Noida, a leading Indian B-School, is an ardent follower of the Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) as enshrined under the UN Global Compact. The Institute organised the 7th International Conference on “Innovations for Sustainable Business” from February 14th-15th, 2020 at its campus. The Conference aimed at bringing together thought leaders and change makers to deliberate on emerging issues in innovation and its critical role in creating sustainable business. This year the PRME conference was accompanied by PRME Innovation Carnival that showcased entrepreneurial talent of students. Innovation Carnival was a national level sustainability challenge where in students prepared sustainable business design, created prototypes and proposed solutions.

This 2-day-conference witnessed a series of thematic sessions that urged its speakers, participants and audience to think, look and visualize innovations as catalyst towards sustainable development. The Conference endeavoured to compel its presenters and listeners to think beyond the present and imagine the future not as an extension of the current but as a transformation emanating from it.

The Conference began with an inaugural session, addressed by Dr Bhaskar Chatterjee, widely acclaimed as the Father of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in India. In his overview to the theme Dr. Chatterjee praised the Institute for bringing together signatory business schools, thought leaders, policy makers, researchers, pioneers in the field, industry experts and most importantly, for engaging with the next generation of business leaders through the platform of its International Conference to proactively analyse and debate the roadmap for future advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Mr Tikka Tirronen from Embassy of Finland was our Guest of Honour. He appreciated the efforts of Institute in imparting responsible management education. The inaugural session was followed by plenary Session I, on ‘Jobs and Opportunities in Sustainable businesses’, that focused on various opportunities in the domain of sustainability practises. Mr Raj Nehru, Vice Chancellor of Vishwakarma Skill University, Haryana also shared the new landscape of sustainable business that is emerging at work and growth opportunities for students. Day one also witnessed a unique initiative by IILM named ‘Innovation Carnival’. The event captured the innovative and creative side of students where more than 90 teams displayed their prototype and elevated their pitch to a distinguished panel of Judges from Industry, Academia and Government Institutions. Teams from IIT Delhi, AIIMS New Delhi, VIT Vellore, NMAM Institute of Technology, Karnataka, Jamia Milia Islamia participated in the Innovation carnival. The day ended with Plenary Session II on ‘Education Agenda in Sustainability’, chaired by Dr Manipadma Dutta and other academicians in the panel, discussed the role of quality education. The group opined that sustainability must be made core of curriculum in business school, as an initiative to achieve SDG 4 in management education.

The second day of the Conference had two plenary sessions. Plenary Session 3 on ‘Innovation for Sustainability’ had a diversified pool of panellist. Dr Didar Singh deliberated on the importance of innovation and linked it with emerging businesses practices. Plenary Session 4 on ‘Industry: The Sustainability Imperative’ was chaired by Brig Rajiv Williams. The discussion was around SDG 9 & 12. The session was interactive and informative as it raised many questions from audience. The question and answer slot after each session helped students to satiate their curiosity, connected the three P’s – Planet, People and Profit, in achieving the goal of sustainable growth.

The conference ended with much awaited event of PRME 2020 by awarding the winners of Innovation Carnival and Women Entrepreneurs. There were ten women entrepreneurs who were chosen out of 46 women from rural areas of various states, who chose to become entrepreneurs despite adverse circumstances and challenges in life. They were ‘Unsung Women Achievers’ who made a difference in their own life, family, community and village.

The 7th IILM International PRME 2020 Conference thus aimed to play a prominent role in highlighting the part played by Innovations in the realm of sustainability. The platform helped each stakeholder to understand and validate that sustainability is a priority, not an option, for business anymore.

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